Indians, Time Warner Eye Net

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Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians and Time Warner Cable will launch a regional sports network, AP reported.

The club and the MSO said 130 regular-season games and eight spring-training games will air on the yet-to-be-named network. Cleveland station WKYC will get 20 regular-season games, marking the Indians’ return to free TV for the first time since 2001, according to AP.

The network will initially air Indians games, pregame and postgame shows and weekly and quarterly specials on the club, but team president Paul Dolan said he hopes the station will eventually be a 24-hour RSN, AP reported.

The team said it would work out deals for other cable operators besides Time Warner and direct-broadcast satellite services to carry the network, according to AP.

The club has been shopping for a new television contract since its deal with FSN Ohio expired after last season, according to AP. The Indians made $17 million last season with FSN.

Dolan said Monday that he expects the Indians' payroll to top $60 million in 2006, up from $42 million last season, with help from the new network, AP reported.

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